A great scientist died recently. Stephen Hawking said young scientists should “try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious”. He said this because we don’t do enough of looking, seeing and asking questions.
And this applies to the natural world as well. What do you see when you go for a walk? How much nature do you notice? Do you have friends that always seem to spot things when you don’t? It is all around us, there is loads to see and sometimes we just need to switch off the running commentary in our heads, turn our eyes from inward looking to outwards and start to notice what is around us. And the Stirling National Nature Reserves are an excellent place to start. Why not take a slow wander around the boardwalks at either Blawhorn or Flanders and really have a look at what is around you. It is called developing “a seeing eye” and takes a bit of practice but gradually your eye will see more and more, the nature around you will become more obvious and you will be the one showing others what you have spotted.
But seeing is only the start. Once you start seeing nature as Stephen Hawking said a bit of curiosity is a good thing. How about asking yourself well why that that plant look like that or why does that bird do that? Sometimes you can work out the answer yourself. Sometimes you might want to look up the answer when you get back home. By starting to make sense of what you see around us will help you enjoy the natural world even more. Though of course it will produce more questions than can be answered (as Johnny Nash once sung – ask your Grandparents !).